by John Darer® CLU ChFC CSSC RSP CLTC
The growing concern on the part of regulatory agencies – including the SEC, FINRA and the Senate Committee on Aging – that unscrupulous advisors are using their credentials to take advantage of consumers. While much of the focus to date has been on seniors, similar issues apply to solicitation of tort victims and their families. The proliferation of professional designations and credentials and resulting marketplace confusion.
The "credentialed only" Society of Financial Service Professionals ("SFSP"), of which this author is a member, uses the following guidelines to determine whether the credential is eligible for membership:
- The credential is awarded by an accredited institution or examining body as a designation or academic degree.
- The credential is awarded after successful completion of an examination or series of exams designed to measure mastery of a body of knowledge.
- The credential is subject to a minimum experience requirement appropriate to the field of expertise.
- The credential requires a commitment to continuing advanced education.
- The credential requires adherence to a professional code of ethics.
More information about the Society of Financial Service Professionals website
Structured settlement brokers, brokerage firms and settlement planners should be mindful about how they display their credentials and and be careful not to present them in any way that could be misleading to consumers.